​​​​ When checking out what exactly Paul wrote in his two prison epistles, Ephesians and Colossians, I cannot help noticing what is NOT there!

I have touched just a little bit in on that puzzle in a few of my writings, but let’s go and try to find out the real facts here.

When reading the two epistles, we find a strong reference and a permanent spiritual​​ conclusion​​ running through them: The believers addressed there, are described as saints. They were saved by their faith in Jesus Christ, - and Paul explicitly give them a​​ thorough lecturing​​ on what they have been given by God and Christ, as believers.

Paul even expressed​​ applause and high praise​​ to these fine believers, telling them he always remembered them in his prayers, Eph. 1:13-18, NASB net version,

«13​​ In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,​​ 


14​​ who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.​​ 


15​​ For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,​​ 


16​​ do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;​​ 


17​​ that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.​​ 


18​​ I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints​​  ​​​​ (Editor’s emphasize)


We notice that he declares by this praise and enthusiastic words, these addressees as SAVED BELIEVERS.​​ “ were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise”…


This is in the opening of the epistle to the Ephesians, yes, I know…so we have not yet checked on what references Paul eventually used from other Scriptures, if he used any at all. ​​ We shall find out.





These gospels were not available as written books before 73 CE at the earliest, and 92-93 at the latest. Paul’s teaching his Gospel of the free Grace of God in Christ, as we learn from Ephesians and Colossians (these were circular letters sent around to be read among all the Churches in Asia Minor in Paul’s time, 63-67 CE), thus could not have used these historical books at all. They did not exist in Paul’s lifetime. Luke’s Gospel and his Acts history, may have been issued around 62 CE says some historians. But it is more probable that Luke could have written his Gospel 73 CE,​​ after​​ the destruction of Israel.


This will no matter – 62 or 73 – not count that much: Luke was with Paul most of the time in question. So, as Luke collected much information from they who had witnessed Jesus in ministry, he surely must have shared this information with Paul, out of his note-books while still trying to finish his writings.


And Paul himself, being once a student under Gamaliel the Pharisee and teacher, as well as having witnessed what happened in the Passover in 28 CE with the crucifixion of Jesus and all the havoc and unrest around this drama. Paul’s first ‘public appearance’ in Acts 7:58​​ and his participation in Stephen’s stoning, happened around 6-7 years after the crucifixion​​ in 28 CE, - which gives us 34-35​​ CE. Paul is said to have been a young man at that event…probably around 23-25 years of age says scholars.


So what I am saying is that Paul did​​ not actually possess​​ any finished/published writings from any of the four Gospel writers.​​ Acts history most probably did not​​ appear for distribution until Luke’s Gospel was published first. He preferred to end the accounts of the apostles, by pointing to Paul’s eager attempts to have the Sanhedrin at Rome converted, Acts 28:30,31, NASB,


«30​​ And he​​ stayed​​ two​​ full​​ years​​ in his​​ own​​ rented​​ quarters​​ and was​​ welcoming​​ all​​ who​​ came​​ to him,​​ 

31​​ preaching​​ the​​ kingdom​​ of​​ God​​ and​​ teaching​​ concerning​​ the​​ Lord​​ Jesus​​ Christ​​ with​​ all​​ openness,​​ unhindered.

But he was pounding on Jewry’s closed door in vain. Israel did not repent to Jesus Christ, and 8 years later the nation was utterly destroyed and scattered in the civilized world.​​ A vast contingent of Jewish war prisoners were sent down to Alexandria by ships, and tried sold in the slave market there, but nobody​​ would buy. Thus Deut. 28:68 was fulfilled, as God actually returned Israel back to Egypt and the slavery from which He had delivered them some 1400 years earlier, ​​ NASB,

"The​​ LORD​​ will​​ bring​​ you​​ back​​ to​​ Egypt​​ in​​ ships, by the​​ way​​ about​​ which​​ I​​ spoke​​ to you, 'You will​​ never​​ see​​ it​​ again!' And​​ there​​ you will​​ offer​​ yourselves for​​ sale​​ to your​​ enemies​​ as​​ male​​ and​​ female​​ slaves​​ *, but​​ there​​ will be​​ no​​ buyer."

According to Flavius Josephus this took place in the years 71-72 CE. He tells of the original purpose was to have them as slaves to labor in the Egyptian mines. And yet, nobody wanted to buy them! (Book 6, chapt. 9). Most of the prisoners were sent the opposite way: To Rome, where 70 000 slaves were used to build the enormous Coliseum Arena during the rule of Caesar​​ Vespasian, followed shortly by his son​​ Titus.​​ Wikipedia has a notification on this project, - which took 8 years to accomplish, - ​​ -

Construction began under the emperor​​ Vespasian​​ (r. 69–79 AD) in 72[1]​​ and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir,​​ Titus​​ (r. 79–81).[2]​​ Further modifications were made during the reign of​​ Domitian​​ (r. 81–96).[3]​​ The three emperors who were patrons of the work are known as the​​ Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named the​​ Flavian Amphitheatre​​ (Latin:​​ Amphitheatrum Flavium;​​ Italian:​​ Anfiteatro Flavio​​ [aɱfiteˈaːtro​​ ˈflaːvjo]) by​​ later​​ classicists​​ and​​ archaeologists​​ for its association with their family name (Flavius).

Thus we can be certain that Paul’s Gospel revelation​​ (Eph. 3:1-9) was taught and preached in the Gentile world…mainly Asia Minor with cities like Ephesus, Hierapolis, Laodicea and Colossae, and others not mentioned specifically (probably Philadelphia, Sardis, Smyrna, etcetera). There exists no written material that should prove of Paul’s Grace Gospel …the Mystery revelation…ever was preached in the land of Israel.

The mentioned four Gospels were​​ published anonymously​​ (no names of the author written in the books). Not until 200 CE did Christian believers start writing the names in these books, but without any solid proof of this being entirely correct. But we can still trust the history​​ itself​​ to be true, and not fiction. The Gospel of Mark, for instance, may very well have been written by Peter, or at least by Peter​​ assisting Mark​​ in his effort. Many historians hold this as true.



There are no references found to any other Scripture, not by verse or by naming it. And absolutely nothing that are quoted from neither the four Gospels, nor the Acts.

But we do find partial​​ indirect​​ ones, such as the passage in Eph. 1:11, 12, ​​ NASB,

«11​​ Therefore​​ remember​​ that​​ formerly​​ you, the​​ Gentiles​​ in the​​ flesh, who are​​ called​​ "​​ Uncircumcision" by the so-called​​ "Circumcision," which is​​ performed​​ in the​​ flesh​​ by​​ human​​ hands​​ -​​ 

12​​ remember that you were at that​​ time​​ separate​​ from​​ Christ,​​ excluded​​ from the​​ commonwealth​​ of​​ Israel, and​​ strangers​​ to the​​ covenants​​ of​​ promise,​​ having​​ no​​ hope​​ and​​ without​​ God​​ in the​​ world.

Paul reminding his congregation in Ephesus of past status…they were formerly​​ such Gentiles who were called ‘Uncircumcision” ​​ (v. 11), and Paul pointed to the fact that they had no share in the ‘commonwealth of Israel’ –​​ which is taken from the Tora, the five books of Moses. But the passage is thus​​ not​​ built upon any part of the Tora, since Paul only used it to help his believers to understand that they no longer were influenced by such doctrine.



One would not expect to find anything of the sort in this epistle, since it is considered as a ‘twin-epistle’ to Ephesians.​​ Colossians has 55 verses which are exactly the same as found in Ephesians. Quite a remarkable likeness…but not if we think of Paul, and him distributing ‘one-and-the-same’ doctrine of faith to both of these congregations. The two epistles are the only ones which contain two substantial Bible truths, not found in any other epistles, namely the​​ revelation of the Mystery, and the spiritual bomb of declaring the Law of Moses as blotted out, entirely abolished!

So, when we learn this fact, we readily understand why Paul did not use any particular references to other Scriptures. He simply focused on his fresh NEW and sensational revelation given to him by direct visitation of Jesus Christ. There was no need to try to put in additional references there. He had already the greatest​​ reference that any believer can have: The revelation of Jesus Christ, and the instructions given Paul by Christ.

Thus we can more easily comprehend his opening phrase in Eph. 3:1-3, NASB,

«1​​ For​​ this​​ reason​​ I,​​ Paul, the​​ prisoner​​ of​​ Christ​​ Jesus​​ for the​​ sake​​ of you​​ Gentiles​​ -​​ 

2​​ if​​ indeed​​ you have​​ heard​​ of the​​ stewardship​​ of​​ God's​​ grace​​ which was​​ given​​ to me for you;​​ 

3​​ that by​​ revelation​​ there was​​ made​​ known​​ to me the​​ mystery, as I​​ wrote​​ before​​ in​​ brief.​​ 

4​​ By referring to​​ this, when you​​ read​​ you​​ can​​ understand​​ my​​ insight​​ into the​​ mystery​​ of​​ Christ,​​  ​​​​ (Editor’s emphasize).





I already told above that Paul’s revelation was​​ fresh and new​​ when it was given him by Christ. The free international Grace Gospel of Christ, and even as the Law of Moses no longer existed. It was abolished. Israel was fallen and destroyed. The spiritual fall happened as we read Acts 28:25-28, with Paul getting a ‘No thanks’ from the Sanhedrin in Rome, the summer of 60 CE.​​ But ten​​ years later it resulted in Rome destroying Israel and laying their temple flat to the ground.

The following quotes are examples supporting this. The believers in the time of Acts never heard anyone preaching this:

Col. 1:13-23, regarding the greatness of Christ and His glorious power and might, ​​ NASB,

​​ 13​​ For He​​ rescued​​ us from the​​ domain​​ of​​ darkness, and​​ transferred​​ us to the​​ kingdom​​ of His​​ beloved​​ Son,​​ 

14​​ in​​ whom​​ we​​ have​​ redemption, the​​ forgiveness​​ of​​ sins.​​ 

15​​ He is the​​ image​​ of the​​ invisible​​ God, the​​ firstborn​​ of​​ all​​ creation.​​ 

16​​ For by Him​​ all​​ things​​ were​​ created, both in the​​ heavens​​ and on​​ earth,​​ visible​​ and​​ invisible,​​ whether​​ thrones​​ or​​ dominions​​ or​​ rulers​​ or​​ authorities​​ -all​​ things​​ have been​​ created​​ through​​ Him and for Him.​​ 

17​​ He is​​ before​​ all​​ things, and in Him​​ all​​ things​​ hold​​ together.​​ 

18​​ He is​​ also​​ head​​ of the​​ body, the​​ church; and He is the​​ beginning, the​​ firstborn​​ from the​​ dead,​​ so​​ that He​​ Himself​​ will​​ come​​ to​​ have​​ first​​ place​​ in​​ everything.​​ 

19​​ For it was the Father's​​ good​​ pleasure​​ for​​ all​​ the​​ fullness​​ to​​ dwell​​ in Him,​​ 

20​​ and​​ through​​ Him to​​ reconcile​​ all​​ things​​ to​​ Himself, having​​ made​​ peace​​ through​​ the​​ blood​​ of His​​ cross;​​ through​​ Him, I say,​​ whether​​ things on​​ earth​​ or​​ things in​​ heaven.​​ 

21​​ And although you were​​ formerly​​ alienated​​ and​​ hostile​​ in​​ mind, engaged in​​ evil​​ deeds,​​ 

22​​ yet​​ He has​​ now​​ reconciled​​ you in His​​ fleshly​​ body​​ through​​ death, in order to​​ present​​ you​​ before​​ Him​​ holy​​ and​​ blameless​​ and​​ beyond​​ reproach​​ -​​ 

23​​ if​​ indeed​​ you​​ continue​​ in the​​ faith​​ firmly​​ established​​ and​​ steadfast, and not​​ moved​​ away​​ from the​​ hope​​ of the​​ gospel​​ that you have​​ heard, which was​​ proclaimed​​ in​​ all​​ creation​​ under​​ heaven, and of​​ which​​ I,​​ Paul, was​​ made​​ a​​ minister.

Since Paul refers to the​​ heavenly Kingdom of Christ​​ (v. 13) – ‘the kingdom of His beloved Son’ –​​ we will understand that he did​​ not​​ speak of the former Acts-kingdom, namely the​​ millennial kingdom​​ which shall be established by Christ at His Second Advent.

He pointed to the heaven up above the heavens (Greek,​​ epiouranos) where now Christ is residing at the right hand of God His Father.

The​​ heaven up above the heavens is​​ not found as any part of faith doctrine in any of the four Gospels or Acts.

It can only be found in Ephesians and Colossians, and it belongs to the​​ new faith doctrine​​ of Paul given to him by Christ by revelation.

Thus Paul did formulate an excellent passage for us, which may be my very favorite passage, Eph. 2:8, 9, NASB,

«8​​ For by​​ grace​​ you have been​​ saved​​ through​​ faith; and that not of​​ yourselves, it is the​​ gift​​ of​​ God;​​ 

9​​ not as a​​ result​​ of​​ works,​​ so​​ that​​ no​​ one​​ may​​ boast.

Just think of the false teachings by diverse cults and sects in our time: None of these existed in the times of Paul and his helpers. The believers were all SAVED BY GRACE, no works or ordinances. There existed no false preachers like those from Jehovah’s Witnesses, blabbering about the 144 000 in Rev. 7 and 14, and there existed – thank God – no Mormon-sect like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with their headquarters in Salt Lake City. Neither Pentecostal Movements persisting falsely, - that we​​ inherited the sign-gifts of​​ speaking in tongues, and miraculous healings. Neither the Adventist Movements, persisting AGAINST PAUL’S teaching of Sabbath and food ordinances abolished, as they openly try to keep Sabbath and such.

In Colossians we find Paul warning against a sect in his time, - the Jewish Philosophy Movement which tried to influence them by this falsehood (Col. 2:8-10) ​​ NASB,

«8​​ See​​ to it that​​ no​​ one​​ takes​​ you​​ captive​​ through​​ philosophy​​ and​​ empty​​ deception,​​ according​​ to the​​ tradition​​ of​​ men,​​ according​​ to the​​ elementary​​ principles​​ of the​​ world,​​ rather​​ than​​ *​​ according​​ to​​ Christ.​​ 

9​​ For in Him​​ all​​ the​​ fullness​​ of​​ Deity​​ dwells​​ in​​ bodily​​ form,​​ 

10​​ and in Him you have​​ been​​ made​​ complete, and He is the​​ head​​ over​​ all​​ rule​​ and​​ authority”.​​ 

People got saved in Paul’s time taking heed to​​ his Grace Gospel​​ teaching of Ephesians and Colossians, without the present hordes of false doctrines and teachers.​​ They were saved WITHOUT the rubbish and falsehood of these mentioned cults/sects! This still holds Biblically true; you are indeed saved without first having to subdue to any of these man-made false movements.


So, since we are entirely saved by faith alone, no works, it is a free GIFT OF GOD in Christ, there are a number of other things we cannot find in the two prison-epistles:

There are​​ no water baptisms. No baptism in the Holy Spirit. No super-natural sign-gifts of any kind, as in 1 Cor. 12-14. And no ‘Holy Communion’. No demanding of having to confess sin to get saved. No commandment by Christ saying, Sell everything you have got and give it to the poor, and then come follow Me. No showing of works/deeds to prove you have faith, like in James. No expected coming of Christ from heaven, with fire and doom as told in 2 Thes. 2. No tithing. No ‘rapture’ up in clouds for believers, like in 1 Thes. 4. And on and on…
















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